The high costs of health care is a major issue in the U.S., which was highlighted in 2015 when Turing Pharmaceuticals notoriously increased the price of the drug that is used as the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection from $13 to $750 overnight. When drug companies monopolize a drug through patents, it makes it extremely hard to maintain affordable prices, which becomes particularly unjust when dealing with people’s health. Luckily, antitrust laws can help remedy this effect of monopolized drugs.
An Allergan PLC unit, Forest Laboratories LLC (“Forest”), allegedly prevented competing generic versions of the Alzheimer’s treatment, Namenda. Forest improperly restrained the release of generic versions of Namenda by settlings its lawsuits against generic-drug manufacturers, which allowed them to enter the market three months after Forest’s Namenda patent expired, despite Forest having received a six month pediatric extension to test Namenda for treating autism.
On April 12, 2017, a proposed class of drug wholesalers asked a New York federal judge to force production of documents relating to Forest’s alleged antitrust violations. The documents relate to patents that were used to cover the Namenda brand, patent suits that were filed against companies that were going to make generic versions, and the settlements from those cases.
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Akinnibi, Fola. “Purchasers Seek Namenda Litigation Docs In Antitrust Suit.” Law360. Last modified on April 13, 2017.